Back in October 24, 2017.
If you hold a candle for early-mid 2000s broken beat, then don't let Selectors Assemble's horrendous cover art deter you from checking the record out. Released to coincide with the revival of CoOp, the party's co-founder and figurehead IG Culture contributes to all five tracks: along with another old hand, Bugz In The Attic's Alex Phountzi, he remixes Henry Wu's 'Substance' into a perfectly fluid-but-rooted, slap bass-driven (bless 'em) stepper; and under his Son Of Scientist guise turns out 'Spartan Riddim' - aptly named, and while not quite as heavy as his 2005 signature dreadnought 'Keep It Burning', it's heavy. NameBrandSound (IG + Phountzi) and Sonar's Ghost (Domu!) team up for 'Can't Hold It', a Zed Bias-style bridging of mad-slinky drum edits and dubstep sub ruffage. Phountzi goes for a dreamier, downtempo vibe on '2nd Intention', nice enough; more disappointing is Seiji's turn, another IG Culture collab called 'Gangz' - a little sluggish and meandering, it never really gets going, and in terms of intensity it's a far cry from the vertiginous, neck-breaking classics of your man's heyday.
But in fact, there's little on here that sounds like it couldn't have come from that 2002-2006 purple patch - which is not a slight on the new material, but a testament to the old stuff's future-proof vitality, and its often subliminal but major influence on so much music that's come since (dubstep, funky, R&B, various strains of broken techno). Yes, the whole thing is let down by an air of smugness/self-importance (were the sleevenotes really necessary?), but in a way that makes the whole thing more authentic - wasn't that vibe was part and parcel of bruk from day dot?
Anyway, a quality 12" whichever way you look at it...West London will rise again?